3 Times a Bridesmaid…Crap.

3 Times a Bridesmaid…Crap.

Every now and again I hear the saying, “Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride” and slightly cringe. You see, I’ve been a bridesmaid 8 times in my 26 years and number 9 has been committed to, though no date has been set. That’s roughly $1,800 worth of dresses I will never wear again not to mention shoes, jewelery and other necessary apparel. When the movie “27 Dresses” came out a few years ago I felt her pain (then quickly consigned all my old bridesmaid dresses and made some extra cash). Thankfully, I have some pretty nice friends, and while not all the dresses would have been my first choice, none have been horrific.

In my defense, I have a large family and several of the weddings I have been in were due to sibling marriages, however, I also realize that I’ve simply been too nice to too many people. So to keep further situations of this sort to a minimum I’m going to have to start being mean. (Just kidding, though not really.)

Anyway, being in so many weddings has taught me a few things…

1) The wedding is the beginning, not the end. Fairy tales have taught us that weddings are the end of the story, that couples live happily ever after, when you say “I do” then you’re done. Using this model, many women have spent a good portion of their lives dreaming about getting married, what the wedding will look like, and what kind of dress they will wear. This is normal, but make sure to keep in mind that contrary to what the fairy tales teach, marriage is only the beginning. After the wedding is over and the guests have gone home, after the last present is unwrapped and all the honeymoon bags are put away, your everyday life is still there and will be for a long time. Why start out your married life with major debt accrued from an over the top wedding and/or honeymoon? Why be a “bridezilla” and damage your relationships for the future. It’s so much better to keep the long term goal in mind and start your marriage off with as little debt and as many friends as possible.

2) Your wedding is (ideally) the only one you’ll have, so enjoy it. So many brides want the perfect wedding, after all, you only get one. But all that pressure and stress makes for either a day you can’t really enjoy or a let down if your expectations aren’t met. Why not plan simple and enjoy the celebration of your day with your friends and family. (On this note: Do spend money for a good photographer. Pictures are one of the few tangible remembrances of your wedding you will have with you for years to come. A good photographer makes a HUGE difference, don’t be cheap!)

3) Don’t sweat the small stuff. Color coordinated shoes beneath floor length dresses, is it really necessary? While it is often the details that make the day, micromanaging every aspect is overwhelming and really pointless. Choose your battles and relax, no one will remember whether your groomsmen had cuff links or not (and even if someone does, it still doesn’t matter!)

4) Enjoy the process. Do it yourself wedding projects are all the rage these days and can add a personal touch to your special day, but know your limitations. Not all of us are crafty, good cooks, artistic, or can safely wield a glue gun. Enlist help from friends and family and make some memories together. After the 1000th cookie you may never wish to see a sugar cookie cutter ever again, but at least you will have fun times to reminisce over in the future.

5) You can’t please everyone all the time. In my experience, the most stressful part of weddings is dealing with other people’s expectations and demands. It is sooooo important to remember that it is not in your power to make everyone happy on every point. There are a few people’s opinions that should take precedence: Your fiancée’s, yours, and anyone else who is helping to pay. Aside from that you can graciously let the person making suggestions know that you will take their thoughts into consideration, do, then make the choice that seems the best.

6) Keep focused. Why are you getting married anyway? It is to throw the biggest and best party of the season? Is it to be the center of attention for a day? Is is so you can live happily ever after with the love of your life? Or is is because you truly believe that God has brought you and your fiancée together for a purpose and reason beyond yourselves? When we remember that it’s not all about us, it is a lot easier to let stresses go and focus on the things that really matter (God, your fiancée, and the other relationships around you.)

P.S. While I will be happy to be in any future weddings of friends and share in your happy day, please don’t feel obligated make me a bridesmaid. Honestly, I won’t be offended.




  1. that pic accompanying your post - HAS to be from the 70's
    aaaaahh for the days when you could buy a wedding dress that was NOT strapless

    1. Yeah, I think they are. It is amazing how some people would wear something at a wedding that they would never wear any other time.